The High Holy Day season is upon us once again and on behalf of Drew
Hillel, I would like to share just a few words about this critical time
with you. As the sun sets on the land this Wednesday, Jews around the
world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, 5768.
Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Days of Awe: a time for
introspection, when we reflect upon the past year. What mistakes did I
make? Did I do wrong by my neighbor? During this time, we are expected
to seek reconciliation and forgiveness for our transgressions – directly
with the people against whom we may have transgressed!
The great Rabbi A.J. Heschel once said, “…Every one of us individually will be called
upon to give account of the life we lived. Our destiny will be
determined by what we do or fail to do”. Hence, we also ask: in what
ways did I help others and how can I do even more this coming year? The
shofar, a ram’s horn “trumpet”, is sounded as an alarm, to awaken our
souls and remind us of our responsibilities.
These Days of Awe end with Yom Kippur (Sept. 21-22), the Day of Atonement, when we search our souls, when we fast, when we remember our loved ones who have departed
us, when we pray for renewal. Thus, throughout this period we say to
each other, “L’shanah tovah tikatev(i) v’taihatem(i)” (f), “May you be
inscribed and sealed for a good year.”